In painting, the least of our worries should be to not spill it out. It may not pose too much risk to the painter or a family member, but the paint itself is a substance that can be hazardous to a person’s health. It has a combination of chemicals that requires careful handling and proper precautions.
What is Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC)?
Volatile organic compounds can be found in paint fumes. These are labelled “volatile” because they evaporate easily. They’re unstable, carbon-containing compounds, which readily vaporize into the air. They react with other elements to produce ozone which causes air pollution and a host of health issues including breathing difficulty, headache, watery eyes and nausea.
Some may not be aware of the chemical substances that the paint has, as well as its potential to put our health at risk. You can buy indoor or outdoor paint that has low-VOC content level or VOC-free paint, but buying the latter does not mean that the fumes are completely harmless to inhale. This just means it’s a lot less harmful to inhale.
Know Your Paint’s VOC
The level of VOC in your home increases up to 1,000 times after doing some painting. According to research, paint and paint products are the second-largest source of VOCs after cars. Lots of manufacturers are now claiming to make eco-friendly paint.
For a paint to be considered with low-voc, it should have no more than 250 grams per litre of VOCs for flat and latex paints. For oil-based paints, these can have up to 380 grams. With VOC-free paint, it should only have 5 grams per litre.
Knowing the VOC content of your paint is important because you need to be sure how much to ventilate. To prevent any health risk that the paint may produce, Gavin Chan Decorators Limited suggests working in well-ventilated areas at all times, even if you are using odourless paints. They still contain fume which may be harmful once inhaled.
Keep these things in mind when you’re off to buy paint for your home.